Initial Thoughts: Am I a Social Media Genius?

Social Media is a weird thing. It allows people to discuss, argue, ramble about EVERYTHING. Their job, their school, their sports teams, Hailee Steinfeld’s outfit at the Grammys (those purple boots? Yes please.). The internet is a place where people can speak their mind and also a place where a high school girl can get half a million people to help her take prom pictures with the Mets.

My life has been centered around the integration of media into my life at all times. More than any generation, millennials have grown up completely surrounded by the internet. So, coming into this class I thought I was a genius! Social media is my bread and butter. I’m 21 years old. On a daily basis, I probably interact with people on Instagram and Snapchat more than I do in person. But the “digital business” part? That was more abstract to me. What does digital business even mean? Isn’t every business digital now? After week one of this class, I was starting to look at every tweet and article on anything and think, does this count? What about this one?

So I did what I do best. I googled it. (my friends call me the Google Machine. Whatever.) The first thing that popped up was this Forbes article explaining it to us newbies. What I found from my admittedly surface-level internet search was that everyone is talking about digital business. HBS has a whole section dedicated to growing digital business. MIT has an entire business center for it. So this class became particularly relevant to me as I realized that in a growing digital age and age of technology, understanding how this stuff works is important.

I then made my new Twitter for class (original twitter is used to talk about all the music I’m listening to and to see how long the line is at MAs) and followed every news outlet and tech account that Professor Kane followed. This was a challenge as @profkane follows 1000+ accounts on twitter. A night well spent. I then realized that I was not a genius (SPOILER). I was behind on everything. Digital business was everywhere and integrated in everything that would actually affect my future and my focus was on memes and cute puppy videos! When was the last time I read something outside of class? Could I even still read? Immediate panic situation.

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me last Sunday

I took a deep breath. Okay, Grace, you can do this.  I was at home, so I snuggled with my dog for a while. the panic subsided slightly. I went to class on Wednesday with a bit of optimism. And at some point in class during the TAs’ presentations I had an epiphany moment. This class was actually going to teach me something (this should not have been as shocking to me as it was.)  It was ok if I didn’t understand the intricacies of bitcoin and blockchain, or how Spotify used analytics to engage with its users. This class would help me learn about that. The most exciting part about this class is how open ended and broad it is. Each student in this class has an opportunity to learn from and teach each other something. We’ve been using Twitter for this class for one week and I’ve already been exposed to topics that weren’t even on my radar. While this class is clearly going to be intensive and constantly engaging, it is also going to give us the tools to learn for ourselves. Pretty refreshing if you ask me.

Another thing I had an epiphany about: Blogging is hard. I had this saved in my drafts for over 24 hours and I never posted it. See ya Wednesday!

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4 comments

  1. Totally agree about the open ended nature of the class and the freedom that it will provide instead of a lack of direction. Our experiences in the course will be shaped by our peers and the topics that they find interesting; so in a way, every Social Media and Digital Business course section will have its own areas of interest or expertise and we get to decide where our class and its discussions go starting RIGHT NOW (that includes both tech talk AND gifs & memes).

  2. First, as a Mets fan I love the tweet reference. It is the one good thing the Mets have done in the last year…
    I, too, am a social media fanatic who spends so much time on it yet is now struggling to grasp the “right way” to use it. I found some of the more interesting accounts to follow or just look at were the people who others in the class follow (even though as someone who also spends a lot of time on social media you may be conscious of your followers:following ratio in the back of your mind). I thought you used links really well here because that Forbes article does a great job following up on the MIT Sloan Review we read in class. We cannot stress enough to each other and our peers outside the class how important this ongoing digital revolution is. I think you made a great point about how this class will give us the tools to learn for ourselves. Learning how to navigate Twitter from a business/tech standpoint and using blogs as a way to interact and tell some of the most interesting stories from the digital world in our own way is an experience we probably could not get in any other class. This is going to be a unique experience with a lasting impact that will pay dividends as we soon will enter the increasingly digital working world. I hope we all help each other reach our goals for the class this semester, and I bet that in your final blog post you will be talking about how digital business is far from abstract!

  3. Haha. Great post. Blogging is hard, but I am always amazed (really) at the quality of work students in this class continually put out. Consider that both a challenge and an opportunity. I’ve also noticed that the class definitely does evolve over time, usually with the best stuff occurring after midterm as students *really* figure stuff out. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

    Oh, and the digital business stuff is really because it’s hard to talk about social media in a vaccuum anymore. It involves analytics, AI, collaborative consumption (which will lead to blockchain), AR, VR and so many other things. The epiphany moment for me was when Facebook stopped referring to itself as a social media platform and referred to itself as a digital platform instead.

  4. I could resonate with your encounter with panic situations in the beginning of this class. Created my first Twitter account, I was lost when the syllabus said “follow someone outside of class.” Whom I followed at first? ROB GRONKOWSKI. I had fun retweeting his tweets that I could win a ticket to SuperBowl52. It did not take me that long to realize, although there was nothing wrong with following Boston’s beloved Gronk, that this was not this class was about. So I looked up news medias and added “tech” at the end (e.g. CNN Tech, Bloomberg Tech). At this moment, now my tweeter feeds are full of intriguing news about how technology is changing today’s businesses. Learning real-life examples of advancing digital business from articles, I knew I was 100% right not to drop out of #IS6621 class.

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